15 April 2011

Minister celebrates Domestic Tourism in royal form

Media Statement by the Office of Mr Marthinus van Schalkwyk, Minister of Tourism

Modjadji Cycad Forest, Limpopo Aerial view - Modjadji Cycad Forest, Limpopo

I am glad to be able to say today that we have not seen significant decreases in any figures compared to 2009, and in fact in some instances, such as the length of trips taken, we have seen positive growth. - Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk

Against the regal backdrop of the Royal Court at Ga-Modjadji and the lush splendour of Limpopo, Mr Marthinus van Schalkwyk, the Minister of Tourism, today celebrated the launch of the new domestic tourism campaign and announced the domestic tourism figures for 2010.

“Domestic tourism has historically been, and remains, the largest contributor to tourist volume in South Africa, with 79% of all volume in 2010 derived from domestic tourists. Given the economic conditions after the global financial shock in 2009, we were expecting the domestic tourism figures for 2010 to be rather dire.

“I am glad to be able to say today that we have not seen significant decreases in any figures compared to 2009, and in fact in some instances, such as the length of trips taken, we have seen positive growth,” Minister van Schalkwyk said.

“For the first time in many years we have seen increases in key areas such as frequency, overall spend and the length of stay. It is evident that marginally less South Africans travelled in 2010, but we believe the increases in spending and regularity of travel show that South Africans are embracing a culture of travel. We have begun going research about the reasons why people travel.  This will be used to better understand the market which will in effect assist the industry to cater to its travelers,” Minister van Schalkwyk said.

The Minister also launched South African Tourism’s (SAT’s) new Sho’t Left campaign for 2011/2012. Sho’t Left encourages all South Africans to explore their own country and showcases the country as a fun, affordable and easy-to-do destination.

This year, SAT will be investing R30 million in the Sho’t Left campaign. The campaign will entail, amongst others, advertisements and promotions on television and radio, in print, on the internet and on mobile telephones and in outdoor campaigns.

SAT will also continue its joint marketing agreements (JMAs) with local travel trade. These JMAs are aimed at offering South Africans accessible and affordable holiday deals and showing that a person with a gross monthly income of between R5 000 and R15 000 can afford to travel in their own country. Some of our partners include Thompsons Holidays, Flight Centre, Pick and Pay Travel and kulula.com.

“In terms of the domestic tourism figures for 2010, the latest data shows us that 43% of the adult population or 13.5 million travellers undertook a domestic trip over the last year, with an average of 2.2 annual trips per traveller. This is a slight increase from the 2.1 annual trips per traveller made in 2009,” Minister van Schalkwyk said.

“A total of 29.7 million trips were undertaken for the year, which is basically flat compared to the figure of 30.3 million in 2009. It is interesting to note that for the first time in many years, the category of travel of visiting friends and relatives (VFR) declined in terms of its share of the total trips undertaken.

“At 74% of all trips undertaken it is still the primary purpose of visits, but it has decreased slightly from 76% in 2009. Encouraging to note is the fact that holiday travel has increased from 12% of all trips taken to 13%,” the Minister said.

The total annual spend on domestic travel was R21.1 billion, down from R22.4 billion in 2009.

“In terms of spend, we are encouraged to note that the percentage spend on holiday travel increased to 31% in 2010 compared to 22% in 2009. This means that holidaymakers, as opposed to VFR travellers or business travellers, accounted for the largest percentage growth of overall spend.

“Promising news for accommodation establishments is that the total annual bed nights for domestic travel increased to 130.8 billion in 2010, compared to 128.4 million in 2009. The average length of stay also increased from 4.2 nights per trip in 2009 to 4.4 nights per trip in 2010,” Minister van Schalkwyk said.

In terms of source markets of travellers, the leading provinces remain Gauteng (32%), and KwaZulu-Natal (24%). They are followed by the Western Cape (11%), Eastern Cape (10%), Limpopo (9%), North West (6%), Mpumalanga (3%), the Free State (3%) and the Northern Cape (1%).

In terms of the number of annual trips to each province, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng are also in the lead. A total of 28% of all trips were undertaken to KwaZulu-Natal, 21% to Gauteng, 14% to the Eastern Cape, 10% to Limpopo, 9% to the Western Cape, 8% to the North West, 6% to Mpumalanga, 4% to the Free State and 1% to the Northern Cape.

KwaZulu-Natal (30%) and Gauteng (21%) drew the largest number of VFR trips, followed by the Eastern Cape (14%), Limpopo (10%), North West (9%), Mpumalanga (6%), the Western Cape (6%), the Free State (4%) and the Northern Cape (1%).

In terms of holiday trips, the leaders were KwaZulu-Natal (31%) and the Western Cape (27%), followed by Gauteng (19%), the North West (7%), the Eastern Cape (7%), Mpumalanga (4%), Limpopo (3%), the Northern Cape (2%) and the Free State (1%).

Shopping, social engagements, the beach, natural attractions and nightlife are the most common activities and attractions for travellers.

The strategy for the new Sho’t Left campaign is founded on the principles of personal relevance and emotional connection, and uses some of South Africa’s most vibrant up-and-comers to tell their stories of travelling Mzansi and how they’re using the country, its people and locations as inspiration for their work.

Present at the press briefing was renowned local artist Mary Sibande, who recently enjoyed international acclaim with her ‘Long live the Dead Queen’ collection. Sibande is one of seven local influencers who will be taking part in the year-long campaign which follows groups of friends as the travel to lesser-known destinations.

The remaining influencers were revealed as Blk Jks, Am I Collective, Black Coffee, The Arrows, Cream Cartel and Natalia Molebatsi. SAT believes its choice of influencers is paramount to the success of this campaign. It has selected a cross-section of captivating, engaging and exciting people who will find a place in the hearts and interests of all South Africans. Each has their own personal travel story to tell and they will share them with the rest of the country when the campaign goes to air.

The new Sho’t Left campaign is premised on the need to redefine marketing boundaries as consumer demands adjust. The key is to remain relevant and to constantly evolve to keep up with the demands of an ever-changing consumer.

For more information visit www.tourism.gov.za and www.southafrica.net



South African Tourism

Sandisiwe Gugushe

Tel: +27 11 895 3043

+27 73 126 9128



Ministry of Tourism Ministry of Tourism

Ronel Bester                    Natasha Rockman

Tel: +27 21 465 7240       Tel: +27 21 465 7240

+27 83 242 7763              +27 76 429 2264

rbester@tourism.gov.za     nrockman@tourism.gov.za